(Written by Song Xinrui, edited by Huang Xianhao, published 2012-12-11 on People.com.cn)
People.com.cn, December 10, Beijing — This morning, China’s first institute for African media research — the Africa Communication Research Center — was declared open in the lecture hall of the New Library at the Communication University of China.
The President of the Communication University of China Su Zhiwu and the Ethiopian Ambassador to China Seyoum Mesfin jointly opened the center. Representatives from the embassies of South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and Angola were also present at the ceremony.
After the opening ceremony, a China-Africa communication roundtable was held at which the representatives from the five African countries together with representatives from the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Culture, the Xinhua News Agency World Service, the People’s Daily Overseas Edition, the China Central Television English Channel, Peking University’s Africa Research Center, the China Foreign Affairs University’s Africa Research Center, among others, discussed how to strengthen China-Africa media cooperation and how to improve China-Africa communication. This discussion marked the Africa Communication Research Center’s first academic activity.
In recent years, the Communication University of China has trained or educated more than 100 journalists or government officials from Africa through its Radio and Television News-gathering and Editing for African Countries Program, its Master’s Degree Program in International Communication for Developing Countries and other programs.
The Africa Communication Research Center is aimed at further improving China-Africa media cooperation and exchange through academic research and personnel training facilitated by full use of the University’s academic resources, the integration of Chinese and Africa media resources and the forging of links between scholars from China and Africa.
The Africa Communication Research Center will raise the quality of China’s media research and improve China’s ability to communicate internationally through distinguished academic achievement by outstanding media scholars, and through the coordination of research and the sharing of resources and strengths with the Communication University’s Asia Media Research Center and its’ Europe Media Research Center.
人民网北京12月10日电（记者 宋心蕊） 北京时间今天上午，国内首家非洲传媒机构——非洲传媒研究中心在中国传媒大学新图书馆报告厅宣告成立。中国传媒大学校长苏志武与埃塞俄比亚驻华大使塞尤姆·梅斯芬共同为中心成立揭牌，南非、埃及、埃塞俄比亚、肯尼亚、安哥拉五国驻华使馆派代表出席了仪式。
The Communication University of China’s Institute of Communication Studies Establishes An Africa Communication Research Center
(Press release from the Communication University of China’s website, written by Luo Xue of the University’s Institute of Communication Studies, published 2012-12-13)
The Africa Communication Research Center’s opening ceremony and the China-Africa Media Research roundtable were held on December 10 in the Round Conference Room on the second floor of the New Library. The University and the University’s Institute of Communication Studies jointly organized the two events.
Communication University of China President Su Zhiwu and the Ethiopian ambassador to China Mr. Seyoum Mesfin jointly opened the Africa Communication Research Center. University Vice President Hu Zhengrong presided over the opening ceremony and the roundtable, and representatives from five African countries’ embassies, domestic governmental and non-governmental organizations and the University’s research institutes and the media, among others, were present at the ceremony.
University Vice President Yuan Jun gave a speech on behalf of the school. He cordially welcomed the guests, gave an overview of the University’s development and its China-Africa exchange and cooperation programs and emphasized the strategic significance of the University’s establishment of the Africa Communication Research Center.
Mr. Silas Kiragu, a representative from the Kenyan embassy to China, gave a speech in which he pointed out that news media have an important role to play in promoting good relations between China and Africa and said that he expects the research center to play a positive role in promoting the joint development of Chinese and African media.
At the opening ceremony, students on the University’s Master’s Degree Program in International Communication for Developing Countries sang the school song “Inside the Campus Is A Row of White Poplar Saplings” in Chinese and were joined by Chinese students in the audience who spontaneously rose up to sing with them. Chinese and foreign students waved their respective national flags while singing the school song together, leaving a deep impression on the guests at the opening ceremony.
At the “China-Africa Media Research” round table, Zhan Yanqiu, the deputy Party secretary of the Communication University of China’s Institute of
Communication Studies and director of the Africa Communication Research Center, elaborated upon the aims and aspirations of the Center. She said that the Center will be a first-class academic platform for research of and cooperation between China and Africa media. Ms. Zhan said the Center would achieve its aims through cultural exchange and mutual enlightenment facilitated by, among other things, academic research, exchanges, personnel training and social service.
Ms. Zhan also said the center would strive to raise China’s ability to disseminate information in Africa, work to increase the potency of China’s soft power and contribute to China’s efforts to create a positive image of itself. She further stated that the Center hopes to promote mutual understanding and friendly cooperation between China and African media through providing Chinese and African media organizations and firms with communication strategy advice and personnel training.
Ambassador Seyoum Mesfin recounted how friendly the relations between China and Ethiopia have been in the past and gave suggestions on how the Center can promote deeper cooperation between China and Ethiopia in the fields of media research and practice in the future.
Mr. Thembikosi Gcoyi, a representative from the embassy of South Africa in China; Mr. Silas Kiragu, a representative from the embassy of Kenya in China; Mr. Ahmed Sallam, a press attache at the Egyptian embassy in China; and others gave speeches affirming the importance of the establishment of the Center and also expressed good wishes and positive expectations for its future development.
Ms. Guo Wei, director of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Office, said that the Center had been established at an opportune moment, embodying the media cooperation called for in the “Fifth Beijing Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation Action Plan.” Ms. Guo further said that she expects the Center work to play a unique and significant role in promoting the robust development of China-Africa relations.
Shu Jianping, a representative from the Ministry of Culture’s Outreach Bureau emphasized the importance of cultural exchanges between China and African countries in the field of media, and expressed support for the Center’s inclusion of cross-cultural communication and the gaining of soft power in its working agenda.
Zhao Baisheng, deputy director of the Peking University Africa Research Center, and Tang Xiao, director of the China Foreign Affairs University Africa Research Center, congratulated the University on the opening of the Center and said that they look forward to working together with the Center to contribute to friendly relations between China and Africa.
Li Bin, the deputy director of the China Central Television English Channel, said he looks forward to collaborating closely with the Center in the effort to give developing countries a stronger voice in global discourse.
Gu Xun, vice president of StarTimes, China’s most influential company in Africa, and Huang Yi, manager of ZTE Corporation’s international business department, said that they both look forward to working with the Center to promote economic and cultural cooperation between China and Africa
Chen Yinghui, deputy director of the Ministry of Education’s Department of International Cooperation and Exchange; Yan Wenbin, director of the Xinhua News Agency World Service; Xi Weihang, editor-in-chief of the Beijing People’s Broadcasting Station; Han Mei, deputy director of the China Radio International West Asia and Africa Center; Mei Jianjun, deputy manager of the Beijing Municipal Foreign Affairs Department; Qu Ru, head of the Beijing International Studies University Party Committee’s Publicity Department; Mr. Paul Siljeur, political counsellor at the embassy of South Africa in China; Mr. Adam Tesfaye, senior counsellor at the embassy of Ethiopia in China; and students and staff from the University’s Art Research Institute, School of Foreign Languages, International League of Higher Education in Media and Communication and Institute of Communication Studies also participated in the event. After the round table, participants in the event visited the University’s Museum of Media.
The People’s Daily, Xinhua News Agency, Guangming Daily, People’s Daily, the Beijing People’s Broadcasting Station, Beijing TV and many other media reported on the event.